Things My Kids Have Taught Me

Opening a Closed Door

My daughter started tap dance lessons recently.  She’s been asking to take tap for years, and this year she’s finally old enough.  For some reason, seven seems to be the magical age for beginner tap lessons.

We signed her up, bought her shoes, figured out how to navigate the parking situation at CCM, and drove to Clifton for her first lesson.

Her tap class starts right after her ballet class (she’s a dance loving kid).  Ballet ends, we rush to get her shoes on and find the class.  Well the registration information had an error, the nice reception woman tells us, so sorry.  Her class is now in a different room. We rush to the new class.  We find the room number.  The door is closed.

Cue my old friend, anxiety.  A closed classroom door.  It’s like college all over again.  Do I interrupt and go in even though I’m late?  Won’t everyone be looking at me?  Will the teacher be mad?  Notice how in this moment, I’ve forgotten my daughter.  My fear has me thinking irrational thoughts that center on myself.

Luckily, my sense of duty to my kids runs a bit stronger than anxiety.  And I am resolute that I will model how to handle anxiety when it comes, at least when I can.  So we open the door.

And you know what?  It was fine (of course).  The instructor and other kids were in a circle, introducing themselves.  So I walked Evy up, checked that we were in the right place, and said, “Have fun!”

I have a feeling that people without anxiety will not understand why opening a closed door could be problematic.  But I also know that some of you will get it, all too well.

That Saturday morning I watched my daughter walk into a brand new classroom with excitement and anticipation, even though she was late.  And she reminded me, opening a closed door is no big deal.